Sarah McCammon | Michigan Radio
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Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.

During the 2016 election cycle, she was NPR's lead political reporter assigned to the Donald Trump campaign. In that capacity, she was a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast and reported on the GOP primary, the rise of the Trump movement, divisions within the Republican Party over the future of the GOP and the role of religion in those debates.

Prior to joining NPR in 2015, McCammon reported for NPR Member stations in Georgia, Iowa and Nebraska, where she often hosted news magazines and talk shows. She's covered debates over oil pipelines in the Southeast and Midwest, agriculture in Nebraska, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act in Iowa and coastal environmental issues in Georgia.

McCammon began her journalism career as a newspaper reporter. She traces her interest in news back to childhood, when she would watch Sunday-morning political shows – recorded on the VCR during church – with her father on Sunday afternoons. In 1998, she spent a semester serving as a U.S. Senate Page.

She's been honored with numerous regional and national journalism awards, including the Atlanta Press Club's "Excellence in Broadcast Radio Reporting" award in 2015. She was part of a team of NPR journalists that received a first-place National Press Club award in 2019 for their coverage of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack.

McCammon is a native of Kansas City, Mo. She spent a semester studying at Oxford University in the U.K. while completing her undergraduate degree at Trinity College near Chicago.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

Americans woke up to the news on Friday that President Trump and his wife, Melania, had both tested positive for the coronavirus. And like with so many issues, the reactions often fell along political lines.

Six states led by a bipartisan group of governors are joining together in an effort to speed up coronavirus testing. As the nation's death count continues to rise above 150,000, the states said they will jointly purchase 3 million rapid antigen tests that can quickly detect the virus.

For more than 40 years, 96.3 WHUR-FM broadcast Patrick Ellis's beloved and popular radio show Gospel Spirit Sunday mornings, filling the homes and cars of Washington, D.C., with the sound of church.

Each Sunday, Ellis chose music that would inspire, uplift and speak to his devoted listeners. And he filled the airwaves with their lives, too, sharing community and church announcements and marking birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions.

Patrick Ellis passed away July 16 from complications of the coronavirus. He was 77 years old.

Parents, teachers and students across the country are gearing up for the new school year. But what school will look like is still a mystery.

Around the country, communities of color continue to be among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. So in many of these communities, local leaders are stepping in to try to help solve a problem they say is years in the making.

In Richmond, Va., crews of local firefighters and volunteers have been fanning out across the city, going door to door with plastic bags filled with masks, hand sanitizer and information about staying healthy.

Whether it's online-only consultations, closed pharmacies or having to wonder whether going into an office is safe, the coronavirus has upended access to health care. And it has presented particular challenges for women and reproductive health.

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally approaches 6.5 million, scientists are racing to develop a vaccine. Currently, there are 10 vaccine candidates in development around the world that are in the beginnings of human trials.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, there were lots of abortion restrictions in South Dakota. But now the procedure has become unavailable, officials say.

"I called to make the appointment and they said the Sioux Falls location was closed [for abortions] because of the coronavirus," said 34-year-old Heather. NPR agreed not to use her last name because she doesn't want people in her largely conservative community to know about her abortion.

The Trump administration is asking local Planned Parenthood affiliates around the U.S. to return millions of dollars in loans received through the federal government's coronavirus relief package.

Republicans say they're moving ahead with plans to gather tens of thousands of people at their presidential nominating convention in North Carolina this summer — even as Democrats weigh their options for convening during the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Navy says 13 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt who had apparently recovered from the coronavirus and had received negative test results have now tested positive for a second time.

Prompted by concerns about racial health disparities, African-American state lawmakers in Virginia are opposing plans by Gov. Ralph Northam to begin a phased reopening of Virginia's economy this week.

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking federal and state corrections officials to free pregnant inmates in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The request comes after a South Dakota woman died of the virus in federal custody in Texas on Tuesday, just weeks after giving birth.

A federal appeals court says Arkansas can suspend abortions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 6:44 p.m. ET

Amid growing concern about the well-being of residents of elder care facilities, West Virginia officials are preparing to test every nursing home resident and worker in the state for the new coronavirus.

Gov. Jim Justice has issued an executive order directing state health officials and the National Guard and to conduct the tests, including retesting those who've previously been checked for the virus.

In a new digital ad campaign, the abortion rights group NARAL is accusing President Trump and his Republican allies of exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to restrict abortion access. The new six-figure digital ad campaign targets voters in several swing states.

As abortion providers were scrambling to schedule procedures in Texas during the coronavirus pandemic, a federal appeals court has effectively reinstated a ban on most abortions in Texas.

A federal judge in Oklahoma has issued a temporary order allowing medication abortions and time-sensitive surgical abortions to go forward in the state during the coronavirus pandemic.

An association representing thousands of hospitals across the country is pushing back after President Trump claimed that hospital administrators are "really thrilled to be where they are."

The American Hospital Association said hospital officials are worried about shortages of critical medical supplies, including medication for patients and personal protective equipment, or PPE, for health care workers.

Updated at 5:22 a.m. ET Friday

The doors at the Trust Women clinic in Oklahoma City were locked on Tuesday, when the young woman arrived for her appointment. Over the phone, a clinic worker told her the news – the facility had to shut down because of an order from Gov. Kevin Stitt banning most abortions.

UPDATED 3:04 PM ET

As reproductive rights activists warn that some patients seeking abortions are being turned away, a federal court has ruled that an order suspending abortions in Texas during the coronavirus pandemic can stand - at least for now.

Joe Pinero's after-work routine has changed recently.

"I strip outside of my door, take basically all my clothes off and walk in naked and just get directly into a shower when I do come into the house," Pinero said.

But he doesn't think his neighbors in Hoboken, N.J., mind too much, because they know he works as an emergency room doctor.

"If anyone has seen me naked, I'm sorry. But it's probably gonna happen again," he said with a laugh.

As members of Congress continue to struggle to agree on terms for an emergency aid package aimed at addressing the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, a coalition of national nonprofit groups is asking lawmakers to do more to help the nation's charities.

Updated 4:28 p.m. ET

Abortion rights groups are accusing the attorney general of Ohio of using the coronavirus crisis to restrict abortion access after clinics in the state were sent letters this week faulting them for not complying with an order aimed at preserving a limited supply of surgical equipment and protective gear.

With abortion-rights activists playing defense from statehouses to the Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood is unveiling a new campaign push focused on the 2020 elections.

The organization is announcing its largest electoral effort yet — with plans to spend at least $45 million backing candidates in local, state and national races who support abortion rights.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving the White House, President Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Opponents of abortion rights have a long history of supporting abortion bans with three major exceptions: when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when a woman's life is at risk.

But fueled by momentum from the passage of a restrictive abortion law in Alabama, a coalition of anti-abortion-rights groups released a letter Wednesday asking Republican officials to "reconsider decades-old talking points" on exceptions to such laws.